Author 2020 Series: Jen Parker

This Author 2020 blog series is for fiction and nonfiction indie authors who have either already published, or are due to publish, a book in 2020!

As well as showcasing their amazing writing achievement, every featured author answered ten questions to give aspiring fiction and nonfiction indie authors a behind-the-scenes insight into the self publishing process.

This blog post features a collaboration of twenty-two female authors who have written and published their collection of short stories. From contemporary fiction to thriller, from fantasy to romance, this anthology will provide the perfect means of escaping real life. Jen Parker, one of the authors, shares how she organised, contributed to, and coordinated the production of ‘Escape Reality’!

1. Tell me about your book in 25 words or less!

Twenty-two female authors came together to provide escapism. Writing provided them with a positive distraction, and they now want to give readers the same.

2. How long did your book take to write?

Three weeks! I gave the authors a deadline to write up to 3500 words each and they stepped up to the challenge!

3. How long did the whole process take – from initial idea to publication?

I had the idea at the beginning of April, posted a callout for authors on the 4th April, and the book went to print on the 4th May!

Author 2020 Blog Series

4. What have you learnt about the process of writing a book?

I contributed a short story myself – my first published work of fiction (although I’ve had chapters in bestselling nonfiction books) – and I can honestly say that I loved the writing process, from the initial concept to the structure, the character development and then the writing! However, when it came to sending it to a few people to give their honest opinions, I was genuinely more terrified than I was with the nonfiction work. It felt like I was baring my soul, and the fear was unreal. But then the elation when the feedback was overwhelmingly positive made it totally worth it! So my biggest lesson is to feel the fear but do it anyway.

5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently, or would do differently with your next book?

I will definitely be taking it slower with the next anthology (I’ve loved it so much that there definitely will be another, so I’ll be looking for more authors!). The speed this time was because our aim was to provide escapism in a troubling time, so it needed to be out quickly to help the most people. The next time will have more time for the authors to write, as well as more time for me to do the production during more sociable hours!

6. How much did it cost to get your book to market?:

Due to the aim of this project being to do something positive for authors and for readers, I provided my book production services for free, but the copy editing, proofreading, typesetting, full cover design and ebook formatting combined to just over £1000 worth.

Escape Reality: A Collection of Short Stories Kindle Edition

7. Do you have any plans to write another/any more books in the future? If so, would you like to share any details about it/them?

I am in the process of writing a full book of my own – non-fiction – about how a life-changing diagnosis of arthritis completely halted my dream career before it even began, but how that may have been for the better.

I also plan on doing another short story anthology, so if any readers would like to write (or have written) a story between 500 and 3000 words, please get in touch.

8. Do you want to give a public shout out to anyone who helped you produce your book?

I’d like to give a shout out to Tania Taylor and Lauren Raybould for doing extra proofreads of the book for me (I wanted it as perfect as possible as it’s my first collection). I’d also like to thank every single one of the twenty-two authors for putting themselves out there and trusting me with their wonderful stories. I’ve been genuinely blown away by their talent, and really moved with how much they’ve got out of the process.

9. Please share an excerpt of your book below.

I sat in darkness waiting for the words that were about to change my life forever.

“Get to your TV now, Sarah, turn on BBC News,” Donna said with an urgency I have never heard in her voice before.

My stomach was lurching with butterflies, my movements slow and lumbered as I adjusted my pyjamas that were skew-whiff from a night spent tossing and turning worrying about Jack, my husband, and what undercover operation he was on right now.

From ‘The Call’ by Tania Taylor.

10. Where can readers buy your book (and any other books you have written)?

Thank you for participating in this Author 2020 blog series Jen!


This Author 2020 blog series is for all fiction and nonfiction indie authors. To be featured in a future post, please contact me!

If you have enjoyed the posts in the Author 2020 blog series so far, check out the previous posts featuring these fantastic fiction and nonfiction indie authors:

Wendy Fry

Andrée Roby

Tobey Alexander

Richard James Rogers

Gauri Shanbhag Wagle

Ritu Bhathal

A-Z of Storytelling Techniques for Authors

A-Z of Storytelling Techniques for Authors is available to buy or borrow now! Get it here.

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